I see your point. Wait. No, I don't.

I just finished the book To Hell with All That and I must say that I'm mostly flummoxed. The praise on the jacket, as well as the reviews (good and bad) on Amazon lead me to believe that other people actually got a coherent and controversial message out of this book, but I can't seem to figure out what the author actually thinks.

Perhaps that is the point, in a way, but I don't think it is worthy of a published book. Flanagan attempts to address the conflict that many women feel between wanting to work and feel accomplished and worthwhile outside the home and pining over starched sheets and Martha Stewart-inspired handicrafts. Obviously, Flanagan herself is conflicted- she extols the virtue of being a stay-at-home mom and her desire to get dinner made for her kids, but she has had nannies and a maid ever since she had children. Actually, there was a maid employed before the children, too, but she feels terrible and conflicted about this. But she was writing and felt good about it. But she wishes that her mother wouldn't have gone back to work when she was young. But her mom was happier once she went back to work. But, but, but...

WE GET IT!!! You're conflicted, women are conflicted- everyone is fighting over the right answer, but a flowing, articulate book clearly cannot come from this issue. At least not from this author. This would have made a lovely, short article in a magazine, but somehow this mess got approved and printed. For not the first time this year, I moan over the apparent lack of sober editors, and I guess over the state of the book world in general. The people who submitted their blurbs for the jacket clearly didn't read the book, and the reviewers all seem to have pulled one or two sentences out of thin air on which to base their opinions- something not so rare anymore.

Flanagan is called an "anti-feminist" and seems to ruffle quite a few feathers, but I say to those rabble-rousers, "How can you tell?!"